Based on my experience as both a wedding officiant and assistant wedding photographer, here are 10 tips to make sure you have the best wedding processional! Use these tips to get the best photos of your attendants and most importantly of YOU as you walk down the aisle:
- Try not to be backlit too much. If the sun is literally behind you as you're walking down the aisle, the photos will be ethereal and a bit blurry (not always a bad thing). If you want crisp, clear photos, move your processional so the sun isn't directly behind you.
- Leave plenty of time between attendants (aka bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesmen, groomsmaids). A slow processional gives your photographer plenty of time to capture each person or couple as they process down the aisle.
- Encourage your bridesmaids who are carrying bouquets to hold them at roughly the same height. This makes for lovely, consistent photos. I always recommend thumb knuckle in belly button. (Did you just try that?! Hahaha!)
- If an animal or small child(ren) is part of your processional, make sure someone is identified as the "helper" for these less experienced wedding party members. It's sweet to let a toddler walk down the aisle themselves, but it can be a bit overwhelming for them especially if everyone is giggling and pointing at them.
- If you're being escorted down the aisle, take your time. Walk very slowly, look up and around and smile. The opposite of this: walking fast, looking at the ground, with a scowl on your face (trying not to trip) makes for some uncomfortable photos.
- Wear shoes that you're comfortable in. See previous bullet. If all you're doing is trying not to trip and fall, you won't be able to be present and enjoy the moment. This will show in your photos, I promise (and that's not a good thing). You can always change into different shoes after the ceremony.
- If you have a long processional, consider pausing at the top of the aisle for one beat. Bring your feet together and the start processing again. This gives a little more drama to the moment and heightens the excitement for the most important part of the processional: walking down through your guests to greet your beloved.
- If you get nervous, keep your eyes on your sweetheart, who will be beaming a huge smile back at you. Or you can look at me, your wedding officiant, I'll have the hugest smile on my face! (Sometimes my lips shake I'm smiling so hard!)
- Really take your time transitioning from walking down the aisle to getting into your spot by the officiant. Give your escort(s) big hugs, situate your dress (if you're wearing one), settle into your space, look at your mate, take a deep breath and get grounded. Don't rush right into the ceremony. Your officiant should help you with this.
Can you think of anything else I missed? Leave it in the comments and I'll add it to the list.